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The first time I tried frosé—a slushie drink made with rosé wine, simple syrup, and fruit—was on a sweltering summer day in Chicago, the kind that forces you to hop from one shaded spot to another. Though the temps soared past 90, the rarity of a warm day drove my friends and I to a bar with an outdoor (shaded) patio. I promptly ordered a frosé, with my companions quickly converting their beer orders to this refreshing drink after sampling a few sips.

It’s no surprise that frosé has become ubiquitous in the last few years. According to a Nielsen study cited in Forbes, rosé wine sales increased 64 percent between 2016 and 2017 alone, and demand is only getting stronger. So, it’s natural that bartenders (or are we only saying mixologists now?) started experimenting with rosé cocktails.

Rosé wine is simply red wine left on the grape skins for shorter periods of time. Though most rosés are lighter in color and more subtle than reds, their expression is as varied as the grapes used. I’ve seen rosé made with Malbec, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and red blends of all kinds, from regions around the world.

Frosé will soon be making its appearance as we hit warmer months. It’s quite simple to make, not to mention a nice alternative for your guests. It’s best to use a full-bodied rosé wine that holds its fruit flavor and color, as the freezing process will dilute both. It won’t freeze into a solid—the alcohol will prevent that from happening.

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Photo: Jennifer McCallum (iStock)

For this recipe, I used a 2017 Reserve Des Chastelles Tavel, a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. Tavel only produces rosé, which are typically dry—as in, the opposite of sweet—with hints of vanilla. This isn’t the time to break out that expensive bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Go for inexpensive, full-bodied rosé with a nice, deep, ruby grapefruit hue. Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Malbec rosés are all good choices. Adding some fresh red fruit like strawberries and/or raspberries will definitely kick your concoction up a few notches, to the delight of your frosé-all-day summer guests.

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Strawberry-infused frosé

  • 1 bottle (750 mL) dry rosĂ© wine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 lbs. fresh strawberries (about 3 cups), stemmed and sliced into one-half inch pieces
  • 2.5 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 small lemons)
  • 1 cup crushed ice

Pour the entire bottle of wine into a 9 x 13 baking dish and place in freezer overnight.

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Place the sugar and water into a sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture constantly for a few minutes, until the edges start to bubble and the sugar dissolves.

Add the strawberries to the dissolved sugar. Stir to coat, then remove from heat. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

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Strain the strawberries through a large, fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the syrup cools, about 30 minutes.

After the syrup is chilled, take the frozen wine from the freezer and scrape into a blender. Add the lemon juice, crushed ice, and strawberry syrup. Purée.

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Place the blender jar in the freezer to thicken the frosé mixture, about 60 minutes.

Take the frosé out of the freezer, give it a slight stir. It should be the consistency of a thick milkshake. Serve immediately; it melts quickly. Serve it in stemware if you can, otherwise the heat from your hands will warm it up.

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Frosé ice pops: Pour the frosé into ice pop molds. After an hour, give the frosé a stir and mix in small pieces of fresh raspberries. Freeze for another 4 hours. You’re welcome.